Alaska is a dream cruise destination, one that many travelers choose carefully for a specific itinerary. Cruisers booked on Carnival Miracle for a number of 2023 sailings and one 2024 departure, however, are not going to get the same itinerary they originally chose, as Carnival Cruise Line has announced modifications for 11 different sailings to the Last Frontier.
Every Carnival Miracle Alaska Cruise Changed
Carnival Cruise Line reached out to booked guests with notification of itinerary changes for a total of 11 sailings, 10 of which are in 2023 and one in 2024.
The changes vary and impact different sailings as early as the ship’s very first Alaska sailing of the 2023 season, while the last impacted departure date is the first sailing of the 2024 Alaska season.
The only 2024 departure date currently impacted is the April 21, 2024 sailing from Long Beach. Every 2023 Alaska sailing for Carnival Miracle has had at least one change, with departure dates as follows:
- April 23
- May 15, 29
- June 12, 26
- July 10, 24
- August 7, 21
- September 10
Types of Changes
The exact itinerary alterations for each sailing vary depending on sailing date. For some sailings, port visits have been changed, others have different port times though the ship will still visit the same destinations. Three cruises have altered sail away times from the Long Beach homeport, while one sailing is swapping out the location of scenic glacier cruising.
The biggest change for each altered itinerary appears to be removing Victoria, British Columbia, as a port of call and instead planning to visit Prince Rupert, a change that has been made to 10 of the 11 altered itineraries.
Both are coastal port towns in British Columbia, but Prince Rupert is approximately 580 miles (933 kilometers) sailing distance further north-northwest of Victoria. This can impact the sailing speed necessary to reach the port, which can affect fuel efficiency.
Furthermore, visiting Prince Rupert rather than Victoria provides guests with more time in port. On the original itineraries, Carnival Miracle was scheduled to be docked in Victoria only from 8 a.m. until noon or 1 p.m. – just a 4- or 5-hour visit. The updated itineraries, however, show the ship docked in Prince Rupert from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m – a full eight hours.
This longer port time provides greater opportunities for longer shore tours and thoroughly enjoying the port of call, known for excellent wildlife viewing opportunities, which are always a sought after experience on Alaska cruises.
Pre-purchased tours sold through Carnival Cruise Line will automatically be refunded to guests’ original form of payment, while new shore excursions for Prince Rupert will be available for booking prior to each cruise.
Another change on several itineraries removes some time from the call at Icy Strait Point. On the original itineraries, the ship was to be at the port from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., but the updated schedules have the port of call listed as 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. While this does trim the port time by four hours, guests still have plenty of time to enjoy that unique destination.
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Finally, two sailings – the very first sailings for both the 2023 and 2024 seasons – will be departing Long Beach one hour earlier than expected, at 5 p.m. rather than 6 p.m. This will mean that guests traveling to the cruise port will need to ensure they are able to arrive early enough for proper embarkation before the ship leaves.
Why So Many Adjustments?
Carnival Cruise Line has not provided details about why every Alaska sailing for the Spirit-class ship has been altered, but it is not unusual for cruise lines to continue refining schedules as sailing dates approach. This can be especially true for Alaska sailings, when the short tourist season can create crowded ports as many cruise lines seek to entice cruisers to the region.
“Thank you for your understanding,” the email from Carnival read. “We look forward to welcoming you aboard for a FUN and memorable cruise.” Even the earliest altered sailing is still three months away, giving guests plenty of time to make adjustments to their travel plans if necessary.
In addition to Carnival Miracle, the cruise line will have two other ships sailing in Alaska during the 2023 season: Carnival Spirit and Carnival Luminosa. It is possible that changes may be coming to those ships’ itineraries, and booked guests should stay in close contact with the cruise line to be informed of any updates.